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Already a veteran of two wars - in Europe and Korea - PC Richard Bourton has joined the Met later in life than most of his fellow trainees on the rough streets of Notting Dale, a grimy, unloved corner of West London. It is hard for him to fit in. Amongst the bomb-sites and boarding houses, Bourton stumbles on a man who has been beaten nearly to death. This discovery, in the swirly fog of 1952, will either make or break his nascent career.